Crocodile Wranglers Fail First Attempt To Release Croc From Tyre
A team of crocodile wranglers led by animal expert Matt Wright have failed in their first attempt to free an Indonesian crocodile from a tyre, which has been stuck around its neck for the past few years.
The crocodile in the Indonesian city of Palu is thought to have had the motor scooter tyre lodged around its neck for the past three-to-five years.
Aussie croc specialist Matt Wright, who fronts National Geographic show Outback Wrangler, got a call from local authorities in central Sulawesi, who explained the reptile's unusual problem - with fears the four-metre beast is slowly being strangled to death by the tyre as it grows.
In an Instagram post, Wright said he'd been watching the crocodile's story for the past 18 months, trying to work out 'the best window to get over to Central Sulawesi' to catch the animal and relieve him from his 'tight choker'.
He explained: "I believe the tyre has been around the croc's neck for a few years now, with the croc being able to survive and live unaffected.
"However, our contacts in Indo have shared recent pictures of the croc which show the tyre looking tighter than ever before with the poor fella gasping for air and officials now fearing the tyre is slowly killing the beast."
Working closely with Indonesian government officials, including from the Ministry for Forestry, along with associated local organisations, Wright and his friend Chris Wilson flew over to see what he could do.
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However, the team eventually had to admit defeat on their first attempt, with Wright saying the crocodile had been 'tough to catch'.
He wrote in an 'croc update' on Instagram: "I did get a couple really good shots last night, but wasn't on my game and missed.
"It's all about getting the right opportunity to get a good run at catching him and there far and few between."
Wright explained the crew he'd been working with had 'exhausted' their funds, posting a link to a GoFundMe page that people can donate money to in support of the project.
Wright and Wilson have returned to Australia, but vowed to return 'soon' after giving the crocodile a rest.
Giving a shout-out to the team of local officials and organisations that had been part of the operation, Wright said in an Instagram video: "What an adventure. What a great little mission we've started.
"We're going to keep on this mission, we're going to catch this crocodile."
Mr Haruna, a BKSDA Central Sulawesi official, told reporters there would be a second attempt in May, saying: "We are closing this first stage."
Featured Image Credit: PA